Follow the Leader

The solution is vision. Someone has to define what we’re trying to get to and clarify which ideas are both more and less important in completing that vision. – Scott Berkun

Leaders want to lead, but you’re only a leader if you have someone following you. So, how did great leaders get people to follow them in the first place?

Consider this: everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. So, a great leader’s number one job then is to explain the mission, explain the mission, explain the mission. He or she must sell what greatness can be regarding a certain mission and then align the resources – including followers – around that mission to achieve greatness.

You can’t be a great leader without being a great communicator because it is your job, your most important job as the leader, to constantly remind people about the big picture. You can only do this through some form of communication.


This doesn’t mean that you have to be on par with Martin Luther King, Jr. with your communication style. In fact, one of the most powerful things that Steve Jobs ever did as a leader was communicate a big idea with just three words: real artists ship. His point was that you can be amazingly creative, but if you don’t ship a product out the door and make it available to customers, it doesn’t matter. Leaders at companies great and small today still use that message. All Jobs did was write it on a whiteboard.

To be a great leader, your number one responsibility is to communicate a consistent, unifying message. If you can focus different people around a common mission, you will be able to lead.

Always Forward.

Question: What is your mission that you’re communicating to lead well?

Weigh, Don’t Measure


You do not count your critics, you weigh them. - Dr. Henry Cloud Feedback is critical. Only companies that are foolish aren’t getting continuous feedback. But – as leaders, we have to remember that we weigh feedback, we don’t measure it – … [Continue reading]

Get Stuff Done

Facebook Event Photo

Change is our lifeblood. - David Ogilvy As leaders, people often look to us to lead on initiatives that span community issues wide and far, but sometimes leadership is about empowering others to lead and succeed. That’s why our team … [Continue reading]

What Awesome Looks Like


Innovation is creativity with a job to do. - John Emmerling At Southwest Michigan First, we have a phrase that we use often when working on a project or new idea: figure out what awesome looks like. Many times as the leader, I know what the end … [Continue reading]